A Sunday Drive To The Wildlife Refuge

A long long time ago, way back when I was about 18 years old, when #1 -#7 had all moved away and I was the last kid at home, when I first had a car, once in a while on a Sunday afternoon my Mother would say “Let’s take a drive.”. And we would do just that; we’d get the car with no real destination in mind and just drive. Sometimes we’d take a familiar highway and other times we’d take a less traveled back road. We might end up in another town, or at a park of some kind, or we might just end up back at home having not stopped anywhere. Mom loved to travel and I think that these Sunday drives were a way to feel like she was going somewhere without the expense of a real trip.

Gasoline is a bit too expensive right now to just jump in the car and wonder aimlessly but I decided it was time for a Sunday drive of my own so yesterday I headed out to a nearby wildlife refuge for a little adventure. Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge is about a 40 minute drive from home and covers nearly 11,000 acres of grasslands, crop lands, wetlands, rivers, hills, plains, open waters; just about every type of habitat Kansas has to offer.

American Coot

On this trip I only stayed for a short time and saw just a tiny little area near the reservoir; but in that tiny area I was able to see sandpipers, pheasants, coots, eagles, hawks, vultures, pelicans, and many other birds that I have yet to identify. I only wish I was able to capture awesome photos of all of those birds! The refuge is home to over 200 species of birds, over 30 species of mammals, over 35 species of amphibians and reptiles, and about 20 species of fish so there is plenty to see on any given day year ’round.

Rocky Beach

I plan to get back out there before the weather gets too hot but next time I will get there earlier in the morning and pack a picnic so that I can stay longer. And I plan to try harder to get some awesome photos. I think L will enjoy it out there too so hopefully the weather will stay on the cooler side until the semester is over and the kids are home for summer break; it will make a fun photo outing for both of us. Maybe K would like to come along too!

A Distant View

For now I have uploaded about 20 photos from yesterday to a Kirwin Wildlife Refuge gallery in the Scenic Kansas group at KKHPhotos.com. Although limited in size; I have made prints, gifts, and downloads available for purchase. [I limited the size of prints due to the amount of noise in the images and some soft focus, I think maybe the gray hazy overcast conditions caused the problems. Guess it just wasn’t the best day for photos. Or maybe I was just having an off day.]

American White Pelican In Flight

Thanks for checking out my Sunday Drive! Have a great week.

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2 thoughts on “A Sunday Drive To The Wildlife Refuge”

  1. Wonderful day out. I love the way you narrate the settings for your work, the love for driving to no particular place and so.
    Amazing images! Will have to wait for your next excursion there!

  2. Thank you Ana. My Mother would love this wildlife refuge if she were still able to get out and about. I can’t believe I have lived this close to it for the last 17 years and have never been there before!

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